North Cork Pip Leevale in Waterford

West Waterford athletic club staged their annual Century Homes cross country event at St. Augustines College Dungarvan this afternoon.  The glorious sunshine gave the feel of a summers day rather than one approaching the first day of winter.  In spite of recent rain the course was in excellent condition for the field of almost 100 entrants, many of whom were running over the country for the first time.  By the end of the first of four laps George Murray from North Cork and John Daly from Templemore were beginning to establish themselves at the head of the field, with James Grufferty and Bryan Keane from Leevale and James Sullivan from Waterford in close attendance.  At halfway the early leaders had opened up a significant gap of thirty metres over the others led by Grufferty, with Peter Duggan of St. Joseph’s also amongst them.  However, Bryan Keane had fallen away due to stitch problems.  With a lap to go very little had changed as Daly and Murray were inseparable, but Sullivan had moved into a clear third. With about 400m to go the race ended as a contest as Daly surged into the lead and raced away to a fine win with Murray an excellent second. James Sullivan finished third, a great result considering the injury problems of the past year, and he also recorded his tenth Waterford senior cross country championship title, an event that was run in conjunction with the race. North Cork were team winners over Leevale, while Cork won the inter county team contest that required teams of eight men and two women. Photo shows Murray leading from Daly, Grufferty, Keane, and Barry.  Generally speaking this was an excellent race that provided great competition for everyone and it also acted as a eye-opener for more than a few contestants.  It looks like Leevale will have to have a full strength squad to retain the Cork senior cross country team title on 4th November.  With James Grufferty going in the junior race the team will need Cathal and Fiachra Lombard as well as Martin McCarthy. ( Results)